I am either an idiot, or the only one on the planet who likes to browse his music collection thusly:
I have a number of compilation albums; soundtracks, Billboard discs, and whatnot. Often, I don’t know the names of all the groups/artists on these, and I don’t think of them in that way at all: if I want to listen to the soundtrack from Get Shorty, I don’t think about the fact that it features tracks from Morphine, Us3, Booker T & the MG’s, or John Lurie. It’s just the Get Shorty soundtrack. If I saw John Lurie’s name in a list of all the “Artists” in my collection, I would say to myself, “Who the hell is John Lurie?”
Yet, every music collection manager I have tried (including Amarok 2, I should mention) lists EVERY ARTIST ON EVERY COMPILATION INDIVIDUALLY by default. So, in the case of one ‘Greyboy’ (what, you didn’t know that was another artist that played on Get Shorty????), I would have an entry under ‘G’ in ‘Artists’ that would list just one song. Completely useless. This style of listing the artists is particularly frustrating with all my 80s compilations. Yes, I can wrap my head around the fact that, in a literal sense, the collection features all of these individually named artists. I cannot, however, wrap my head around how a listing like that could possibly be useful to anyone.
The screenshot above is from Amarok 1.4. After rolling with version 2 for a short period of time, I rolled back, in part because of this frustrating issue. Obviously, it IS indeed possible for a music player to group the albums with ‘various artists’ in this manner, or my beloved Amarok 1 wouldn’t be doing it.
Tell me something: I am crazy to hold this opinion? I just want the compilations in their own category. How do YOU deal with this? Am I missing something in every other music player that I have ever tried that skirts this issue entirely?
I guess what really makes it frustrating is that I can’t seem to find the ultimate player that has all the features that I want– Amarok 1 groups the compilations right, but it’s album shuffle is woefully lacking. A-2 is great with album shuffle, but the collection arrangement is bullshit. Jajuk handles album shuffle even better, but is aesthetically atrocious. Songbird and Rhythmbox both look OK, but I can’t get them to shuffle albums OR display compilations in a helpful way.
I should go get myself some more significant problems.